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One Week Wonder 2022
Mark Schaible, Sonex Aircraft
Today’s the day! Stop by the One Week Wonder tent on Celebration Way to see the finishing touches put on this year’s example, the Rotax-powered Sonex Waiex-B.
We have wings! Wing skinning on the 2022 Waiex-B One Week Wonder was completed on Thursday, and the wings have been rigged to the fuselage. Tasks in the forward fuselage to prep for wing rigging were completed late Thursday, and a small crew of volunteers and Sonex staff stayed into the night to complete that process.
Other milestones for Thursday included the beginning of the tail installation process, gear leg rigging and drilling, engine mount installation, installation of the first firewall forward components including the Rotax 912 iS fuse box, oil tank, and oil breather tube. The fuel tank was given its first temporary fit with fuel lines to the 912 iS fuel pumps, and the fuel pumps were installed. We’re looking forward to getting the Waiex-B on its gear, installing a lot more engine installation items, continuing the canopy installation process, and making more progress on the installation of controls.
We saw the completion of some major items on the One Week Wonder build midweek! The general public pulled a lot of rivets on the Waiex-B model, riveting the stabilizers, ruddervators, wings, flaps, and even small parts like the seat pan. Then each participant got to sign their name next to their rivet.
Checkmark stickers added to the big back wall in the One Week Wonder tent included completion of the stabilizer assembly, ruddervators, rudder, turtledeck installation, fuselage tail cone assembly, flap assemblies, and the canopy frame. The forward fuselage took shape, and we anticipated having a finished fuselage box structure on Thursday. We were a few rivets away from having finished wings as well. Other goals included engine mount and landing gear installation, wing rigging, tail installation and maybe even windshield and canopy installation.
Wednesday saw our largest volunteer head count of the week as we tried to stick with preferences for days and shifts that volunteers signed up for. On Thursday and Friday, our need for volunteers will likely be reduced because we can only get so many bodies around the aircraft.
We saw some significant progress on the construction of the Waiex-B aircraft kit from Sonex on the second day of the One Week Wonder build at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022. The first signatures on exterior skins of the aircraft could be seen on the aft fuselage side walls of the One Week Wonder. Those aft fuselage side walls were quickly assembled into the lower tail cone box, and by the end of the day the turtledeck was Cleco’d in place. The forward fuselage side walls are also completed and are just waiting for the turtledeck to be riveted before the forward fuselage can be installed onto the tail cone. Tail and control surfaces quickly came together today and are ready for the public to rivet on Wednesday morning. The wings also made significant progress today, with the left wing skins installed and the right wing substructure completed — wing ribs and rear spar all installed and riveted to the main wing spar. Preparation of the Rotax 912 iS engine was also completed today with clocking of the water pump elbows, installation of the straight water pump inlet fitting, installation of the required oil fitting on the bottom of the case, and fitting of the Sonex/AeroConversions Rotax prop hub extension.
The day ended with a ceremonial update to the aircraft build checklist on the back wall of the One Week Wonder tent. Sonex General Manager Heather Zahner was brave enough to climb the big ladder and put checkmark stickers on the wall to show completion of the fuselage tail cone box, forward fuselage sides, rear spar assembly on both left and right wings, aileron bellcrank assemblies for left and right wings, and wing rib installation for both wings. The fun and enjoyment of the project is contagious in and around the One Week Wonder tent, and some big milestones are set to be accomplished on Wednesday!
We had a great start to the first day of the AirVenture 2022 Sonex One Week Wonder. EAA CEO and Chair Jack J. Pelton officially kicked things off at the opening ceremonies this morning as the clock began ticking, and volunteers and spectators cheered, counting down six-and-a-half days to build an aircraft. Volunteers began unpacking the kit immediately and handing pieces over the wall as Sonex staff helped to organize where each part should go. The build started by attacking all parts of the airframe at once — the benefit of a massive amount of enthusiastic free labor.
Volunteers simultaneously began work on forward and aft fuselage side walls, wing spar prep, tail and control surfaces, wheelpant prep, and engine prep. By the end of the day, wing ribs were deburred and ready to be riveted to the main wing spar, rear wing spars were completed, fuselage side walls are ready for the public to rivet, the tail stabilizer structure is complete, ruddervators are in process, the rear spar carry through and fuselage spar box is well underway, and the gear leg fairings and wheelpants were completed.